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Re: GFCI & grounding #14467 09/28/02 07:44 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 280
motor-T Offline
You are absolutely correct. You brought up a good point, and sorry to say it reinforces mine. To teach the inspectors about GFCIs.
A case in point, dont know why I didnt think of it earlier, When my daughter bought a home they had it inspected, old wiring two-wire romex, and the inspector used a typical GFCI testor in the bathroom and he said the gfci had to be replaced because it was defective. The previous owners had just had it installed. No the inspector did not use the test button but relied on his testor to make this determination.
The wiggy test would have worked too.


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Re: GFCI & grounding #14468 09/28/02 08:44 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
harold endean Offline
Hey guys,

Not to stick up for inspectors, but there are stickers in the GFI box that says something like, "This receptacle is not grounded". I am not sure because I haven't seen one in 4 years, but that is to give an inspector a "heads up" that the receptacle he is testing is not a grounded circuit. It would be a knob and tube type of circuit.

Re: GFCI & grounding #14469 09/28/02 10:53 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 280
motor-T Offline
i was referring to the dubious Home-inspectors, in my area our AHJs are pretty well squared-away and know the code and what they want from their contractors.
You are right about the stickers, in some devices two are included, 1. No equipment ground, and 2 GFCI protected, however I have only seen no. 2 in most brands, in my area I dont see many people use them either.
Only in Eagle brand do they include both stickers, but recently I have discovered P & S includes both.
Although a code requirement, that one isnt enforced much.


Re: GFCI & grounding #14470 09/29/02 08:08 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
harold endean Offline
Motor T,

Don't get me started on "Home inspectors". Some of them don't even know what a copper wire is. I am serious, Several times I had to go out an re-inspect a home after a home inspector said that there was aluminum wire in the house. I would go out there and find old copper wire that was oxidized and looked silver. The home inspecto took the color to mean that it was AL, and not Cu wire. The cable it was in was an old RHH service cable from the 50's. I said that AL wire wasn;t even around in the time period. At least Joe T was trying to train some home inspectors on the NEC. I don't know exactly how many seminars he has taught to home inspectors and if they even learned anything.

Re: GFCI & grounding #14471 09/29/02 09:08 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,389
sparky Offline
yeah Harold, those home inspectors sure give you inspectors a bad name....the public simply does not know the difference
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Re: GFCI & grounding #14472 09/29/02 09:15 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
sparky66wv Offline
I always thought that it was nickle-coated copper...

To what advantage, I don't know.

But yeah, many people mix it up with Al...

They don't realize the main culprits of Al branch circuit cables were mobile homes and cheap housing of the 70's (late 60's?), and is reasonably modern looking NM cable rather than cotton-covered asphalt impregnated rubber!

[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 09-29-2002).]

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Re: GFCI & grounding #14473 09/30/02 01:15 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
pauluk Offline
Sure, any grounded surface will do, and so long as you have a meter which will pull 6mA or more then that's fine. I was just suggesting the extension cord for situations where there is no such radiator, pipework, etc. within easy reach of the test leads (and a resistor if all you have is a meter of higher impedance).

I see the main point you're getting at now -- How to demonstrate to someone "less knowledgable" that the GFI will trip on a ground fault even if a plug-in tester fails to trip it. I agree that if a home inspector is making a business of testing and examining electrical systems then he should certainly be aware that a plug-in GFI tester won't work on an ungrounded receptacle. He should also be aware of the fact that the test button in the GFI is adequate proof that the device will work as intended.

This isn't a problem I've come across in England, as all the general home inspections which are carried out here report only on the general building condition. The usual disclaimer states that the inspection excludes electrical wiring, plumbing, gas appliances, heating systems etc. and that independent inspections by suitably qualified people should be carried out if required.

On the Al wire issue, I wonder what these guys would make of the tinned-copper conductors that were used here before we went to metric cables (i.e. anything installed before about 1970).

[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 09-30-2002).]

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